Former UFC Light Heavyweight Championship challenger Anthony Smith is currently training with Jamahal Hill.
Hill will face former champion Glover Teixeira for the vacant light heavyweight gold at UFC 283 later this month. The light heavyweight division has been in chaos ever since Jiří Procházka opted to vacate the title due to a severe shoulder injury in training.
At UFC 282, a new champion was expected to be crowned in the main event clash between former champion Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev. In a shock to many, the pair wound up fighting to a split-decision draw. Now, a new champion is expected to be decided between the No.2-ranked Teixeira and the No.7-ranked Jamahal Hill.
The No.6-ranked Anthony Smith training with ‘Sweet Hands’ might come as a surprise to some. The pair were initially expected to fight next year. Due to the chaos up top in the division, though, Hill managed to leapfrog Smith to a title fight. Many have cited Hill’s superior winning record in recent years as a key reason behind this surprising decision.
Anthony Smith Talks Making Jamahal Hill “Familiar” Ahead Of Teixeira Fight
In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Anthony Smith highlighted what he is focusing on to help get Hill ready for the biggest fight of his career thus far. Smith explained that having fought Teixeira himself, he has been educating ‘Sweet Hands’ on what to expect from the Brazilian veteran in the Octagon.
“Jamal can already fight… I’m not gonna show him anything groundbreaking,” Smith explained. “It’s essentially just making him familiar, you know what I mean? It’s familiar, so the first time he sees it isn’t when he’s in there with Glover because Glover does do things a little bit different. I had the same kind of shock in some of those positions, things that I wasn’t necessarily expecting maybe. So, it’s nothing crazy, it’s just making him familiar with some of those spots, and just some small little tweaks, adding options or giving them another direction to go in certain ways, that’s maybe a little more Glover-specific.”
Anthony Smith fought Glover Teixeira in the main event of UFC Fight Night 171 in May, 2020. Teixeira defeated ‘Lionheart’ via TKO early in the fifth round. Hill will no doubt be looking to avoid a similar fate when he meets the former champ on January 21.
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